information technology

Romney’s White Whale: Old Man’s IT and the Election That Got Away

Moby Dick

[Illustration from Moby Dick, c. 1925 edition]

ArsTechnica did a comparison between Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s campaigns’ information technology expenditures. They note a few key attributes that differentiate the Romney campaign’s use of IT:

  • Outsource anything that’s not a key competency, and spend as little as possible on it;
  • Reward “friends” with outsourcing contracts;
  • Spend on ad hoc items and pre-built SaaS* (buy from “friends” where possible).

Sure looks like the typical modus operandi of vulture capitalists that don’t invest but hit-and-run on the high seas, looking to harpoon anything of value in order to flay its carcass for cash. This says something both familiar and abhorrent about Mitt Romney and his supporters with regard to democracy.

But there are several other points that ArsTechnica missed in their assessment.

Generational shift — The difference in funds allocated and the way in which the IT monies were spent revealed a compelling truth: old guy Romney doesn’t value information technology the way younger guy Obama does. It’s a generational shift, from old school campaigns which still rely heavily on direct mail and broadcast media, to digital campaigns run by Gen-X and Millennials who are digital natives.

Based on past performance by vendors and team members alike, Obama’s team also trusts the technology team it assembled to do work quickly, effectively, on the fly. They trusted technology.

In contrast, Romney’s camp went with bigger brand name vendors like Best Buy (via service subsidiary) and SalesForce (for customer relationship management SaaS app). In mega-corporate they trust, apparently. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Well, this instant part of Obama's routine is just fucking embarrassing and horrible. What blithering idiot thought this was appropriate?
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Better "killing" it there than innocent civilians in signature drone strikes I guess. https://t.co/btveeFatS9
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @fordm No shit. Hello DiFi.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @billmon1 @Will_Bunch Is it really any different in this context? It is an access journalism incestuous bacchanal either way.
18mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Stupid, stupid, stupid. #FireSully #Gators Idiot called for squeeze with two outs.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @jamisonfoser: Says it all —> MT @mlcalderone: Cable news roundup: CNN, MSNBC covering WHCD, No Baltimore.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage Sure. But that would not include informants that would be in 1.2%, right? @joshgerstein
42mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @bsdtectr Oh darn.
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage And I would assume hit rates go up when including CI assessments. @joshgerstein
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage Still, 4.6% is higher than 1.2% @joshgerstein
47mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel The only thing this article is missing is calling out DiFi also for championing Kappes, too. http://t.co/351g15LEgL
1hreplyretweetfavorite
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